Federal panel has recommendations for Congress on long-term care

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in Kaiser Health News, The Atlantic.com, New America Media, AARP.com, Practical Diabetology, Home Care Technology report and on HealthStyles Radio (WBAI-FM, NYC). She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health, Media & Policy at Hunter College, NYC, and a co-produces HealthStyles for WBAI-FM/Pacifica Radio.

On Thursday, the federal Commission on Long-Term Care completed a package of recommendations for inclusion in its final report on long-term services and supports to be published by the end of September. A majority of commissioners appointed by Democratic and Republican leaders voted in favor of these recommendations to be submitted to Congress. The commission’s goal is to address the issues and challenges that millions of Americans and their families face on how to best to deliver and finance needed long-term services and supports.

“This is an issue that has been brewing for decades,” said Dr. Bruce Chernof, the commission’s chair, in a press release. “I am pleased that a majority of the Commission has agreed on a number of thoughtful recommendations that serve as a launching pad for future action by Congress and the Administration. I hope both the bipartisan nature of this report and the suite of ideas garnering broad agreement dispels the myth that our nation’s long-term care crisis is just too hard a problem to tackle. We must work to improve our approach to serving Americans with functional and cognitive limitations and their families, realizing that the time to act is now.”

Key recommendations include:

  • increase focus on community-based services and support for aging-in-place
  • increase responsive, integrated, person-centered, and fiscally sustainable LTSS delivery systems
  • attract and retain a competent, adequately-sized workforce capable of providing high quality, person- and family-centered services and supports to individuals across all LTSS settings
  • Create a sustainable balance of public and private financing for long-term services and supports (LTSS) that enables individuals with functional limitations to remain in the workforce or in appropriate care settings of their choice – including changes to Medicaid
  • Create a national advisory committee to continue work on LTSS, and consider the Commission’s recommendations and potential financing frameworks.

The members could not reach a consensus on a central financing solution but, according to Vice Chair Dr. Mark Warshawsky, they suggested numerous ideas and frameworks that offer a bipartisan approach for policymakers to consider or use as the basis for a new approach combining private and public resources effectively and fairly.”

The bi-partisan commission consists of 15 appointees – nine members appointed by Democratic Congressional leadership and the White House, and six members appointed by Republican leadership. In addition to Chernof and Warshawsky, the other appointees are: Javaid Anwar, Judith Brachman, Laphonza Butler, Henry Claypool, Judith Feder, Stephen Guillard, Chris Jacobs, Neil Pruitt, Carol Raphael, Lynnae Ruttledge, Judith Stein, Grace-Marie Turner, and George Vradenburg.

The full final report is expected out on Sept. 18.

Nancy LeaMond, AARP’s executive vice president commended the commission for its work and for recognizing the contribution made by family caregivers, who provide an estimated $450 billion in care and support every year. “As the nation faces a looming shortage of caregivers, we believe the Commission’s recommendations would move us in the right direction toward a more person- and family-centered long-term services and supports system. “

You can find the commission’s summary of recommendations here, and their call to action for Congress hereUpdate: The full report is now available and a slide show from the webinar.

One thought on “Federal panel has recommendations for Congress on long-term care

  1. Bobbie Shier

    We as a country are behind in reviewing this need. An entire generation is approaching critical mass in terms of long term health care. The sandwich-generation has been delegated to the responsibility of
    caring for aged parents and dependents. Now as we approach our own care issues, we find our existing health issues prevent a vast majority of us from securing LTHC without a cost that exceeds our medical health care costs and therefore leaves a majority of us without the ability of securing a viable option.

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